Unvaccinated students urged to get Covid jab during freshers' week
- Credit: PA
Unvaccinated university students arriving in Norfolk have been urged to get a Covid jab in freshers' week.
The NHS' top doctor has called on freshers to get the vaccine at pop-up clinics and walk-in centres set up by universities before their courses begin.
The plea comes as thousands of students begin arriving at campuses in Norwich from this week.
The University of East Anglia and Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) have both “strongly encouraged” students to get vaccinated before they travel to Norwich.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said: "With many universities set to run pop-ups and walk-ins throughout the first weeks of term it has never been easier to get protected, so I urge anyone yet to be vaccinated to take up the offer as soon as possible."
The UEA is running walk-in Covid vaccination clinics on campus on four days this week with students told they do not need to be registered at a doctor’s surgery to get jabbed.
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Overseas students arriving in Norfolk will also be able to take up free vaccination after the government recently announced that anyone over the age of 18 in the UK will be eligible regardless of their nationality or immigration status.
Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, of the National Union of Students (NUS), said: "It's great to see the Covid vaccine being made easily available on campus for students - at the NUS, we've been asking the government to do everything it can to make sure young people can access vaccines easily.
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"I'd urge everyone who is able to get the vaccine so that we can have a safer time back on campus."
The end of the last academic term earlier this summer saw Norfolk County Council’s public health team bring mobile PCR testing units on to the campus after the UEA was linked to a spike in positive cases.
Returning and new students are also being recommended to get Covid tested twice a week with a rapid testing site on campus open every Monday and Thursday.
They are also being “strongly encouraged” to wear a face covering when moving around inside buildings.
“It is our intention to provide as much face-to-face teaching as possible, making the most of our campus for physical learning and using virtual activity to support this," the UEA added.